scenic picture from Washington state
SubjectsPublic SafetyAnimal Control › Regulation of Cats
Updated 09/2010

Regulation of Cats



Of the cities and towns that responded to the Association of Washington Cities 2006 tax and user fee survey, 66 Washington municipalities provided for the licensing of cats. Licensing requirements are similar to those of dogs. The animal must be spayed or neutered or a higher fee is charged for the license. Rabies shots are also among the requirements. Some communities, such as Coulee Dam and Walla Walla, have provisions directed at the control of "cats-at-large."

Background to Cat Control

Sample Ordinance Provisions

  • Clark County Code Sec. 8.07.200-.250 - Cat License
  • Kent Municipal Code Sec. 8.03.040 - License Required (includes dogs and cats)
  • Mount Vernon Municipal Code
  • Seattle Pet Licensing, Seattle Animal Shelter - Includes dogs, cats, and potbelly pigs
  • Stanwood Municipal Code Sec. 8.02.210 - Trespassing Dogs and Cats Prohibited - Requirement to remove fecal matter
  • Sumner Municipal Code Sec. 6.04.030 - Dog and Cat Licensing
  • Tumwater Municipal Code Ch. 6.04- Dogs, Cats and Other Pets
  • Walla Walla Municipal Code Ch. 6.13 - Cats - Allows only neutered cats outdoors and limits number, regulates outdoor feeding

Feral Cat Control

For some communities, the presence of wild domestic cats, or feral cats, is the source of many nuisance complaints. Feral cat management programs known as "trap, neuter, release" (TNR) or "trap-test-vaccinate-alter-release-and-monitor" (TTVARM) programs are presented as a solution to the problem. Such programs aim to reduce the number of feral cats while concurrently reducing the number of animals killed in shelters and animal control facilities.

Return to Animal Control Main Page

Need more information?

Feel free to Ask MRSC. Washington cities, counties, and our contract partners can call or email MRSC for more information and advice - free of charge.